Divisions of the Egyptian Navy and Air Force departed for Greece on Sunday to participate in joint military exercises with Greek forces from 8 to 12 December, according to a statement released by the official army spokesperson, Mohamed Samir.
This joint exercise named “Medusa 2016” included naval inspection operations, research, search and rescue, and training for naval missions. The bilateral air force training will include planning and aerial control according to the latest combat technologies.
The Egyptian Armed Forces recently held a joint military exercise in November with Jordan, named “Al-Aqaba 2016”. In October, Russian air force units arrived in Egypt to take part in the first joint military counter-terrorism exercise in the Egyptian desert, named “Defenders of Friendship 2016”.
These joint military exercises are based on earlier agreements between Moscow and Cairo. In June, Russian and Egyptian navy forces conducted their first ever joint naval drills in the Mediterranean Sea near Alexandria.
Since 2013, the Egyptian Armed Forces have engaged in violent clashes with “Sinai Province”, known previously as Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis. In 2014, the group declared its affiliation to Islamic State and has regularly launched deadly attacks on army and police checkpoints.
Over the course of the last two years, the Egyptian Armed Forces launched counterattacks against militant stationing points across the Sinai Peninsula where the group is based, particularly in the cities of Sheikh Zuweid, Rafah, and Al-Arish in North Sinai.